"Sunni and Shi'a leaders began a potential peace process at secret meetings with leaders of the new Northern Ireland and South Africa one month, signing draft set of principles which resemble the protocols that guided the peace settlements in those two countries.
Chairing the closed meetings near Helsinki were Martin McGuinness, the former Irish Republican Army commander, lead negotiator with the British, and now Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and Roelf Meyer, former leader of the pro-apartheid National Party in South Africa's peace negotiations. The Irish delegation also included former IRA hunger striker Leo Green, minister Jeffrey Donaldson, former Stormont speaker Lord Alderdice, and former loyalist paramilitary leader Billy Hutchison. South African participants included ANC leaders Mac Maharaj and Rashid Ismail, key participants in the military and political negotiations in South Africa.
The Iraq delegations' names have not been released but reportedly included six Sunni and nine Shi'a who signed a statement of principles."
Martin McGuinness was, as is mentioned later in the article, looked on as "evil incarnate" by Protestants and many other British folk during the Irish troubles. I remember it well! He was born on 23 May 1950 in Derry, Northern Ireland. An early Gemini Sun with a surprisingly well-balanced chart, whose second Saturn return will occur in a year's time - perhaps this new direction of his could bring yet another new career. At present transiting Mars in Cancer is about to conjoin his natal Uranus at 3 Cancer. Let's hope this is not a bad sign - even if so, it won't last too long.
This news story clearly shows that positive can come, eventually, from negative - albeit very slowly. There are no better advisors than these men. It may take longer than we can afford to arrive at any peaceful settlement, but there is at least hope, and willingness there. Perhaps, underneath the superficial gloom of these times, hidden brightness lies, just waiting to emerge.
This week's antidote to the negative comes via a composition of Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, sung by Buddy Rich (who is better known as a drummer). All are long-gone, of course, but their work lives on and is still widely and internationally appreciated. Following the advice of Johnny Mercer back in 1944, let's try, in 2007 to "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"